PORTLAND, Ore. — In honor of the Blazers 50th anniversary, KGW Carpool had to swing by and chat with the original voice of the team -- broadcaster Bill Schonely, affectionately known as 'The Schonz!'
"Fifty years. Now, that's a long time but to me it went like that -- a snap of a finger," he told me.
Bill's been with the team since 1970 and made the call when the Blazers won the NBA Championship in 1977. He reminisces about that and the Glass Palace.
"The nice thing about the Memorial Coliseum, the fans seem to be right on top of you," he says. "The people just loved it and we had so much fun there."
Schonely turned 90 this year and still has an office in the Rose Quarter. What's the secret to his success?
"A nice glass of wine," he quipped. Chardonnay, in case you're curious.
A lot of his lifelong fans say they'd like to see him on the mic again so I asked if he'd oblige. I think you'll like the answer. He calls his work his passion.
"My job and my life has been a hobby for me," he admits.
How many people can say that? What a gift.
Bill also has high praise for the Rip City faithful who treat him like family.
"I thank everybody, wherever they may be. They have been a big part of my life. And I tried to be a big part of their lives."
Through all the changes the Blazers have gone through, and will go through, Schonely is a constant and that's just the way he likes it.
"As long as I can do something, I'm going to do it," Schonely promised.
We're counting on it, Bill. 100 percent!
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